Posted on: January 18, 2017
TRU graduate Danielle Fauteux credits the Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP) for pushing her out of her comfort zone and setting her up for post-graduation success as a building designer and entrepreneur.
Fauteux’s career path wasn’t linear. While completing her Bachelor of Science degree, she began working for a local kitchen cabinet company. After graduating in 2009, she re-enrolled at TRU, this time to complete a Bachelor of Building Sciences through the Architectural and Engineering Technology (ARET) program.
Read: Undergraduate Research leads to graduate school success
Read: Why the undergraduate years should include a research experience, University Affairs, September 2016
When presented with the opportunity to apply for a $4,500 UREAP to conduct an independent research project, she jumped at the chance.
“There was a building lot that I drove by every day and I always wondered what I could do with it, so my project focused on an assessment of the lot to determine the most viable development. Then I designed it,” she said.
Fauteux designed plans for a multi-unit waterfront housing project. To do so she needed to liaise with various municipal departments to determine density regulations and traffic flow, as well as acquire a riparian report. She engaged a local developer to consult on the design, and continues to look to that developer as a mentor. While still in the early stages, Fauteux is confident in the viability of the project, and expects it will be built.
“The relationships that I formed, the knowledge and the experience that I gained going through the process, has all been a feather in my cap. I was just getting my feet wet, but I have this experience in my portfolio, I have the design plans I can put on my website, and I now have the relationships and the knowledge that it brought.
“The UREAP forced me to spend time on a subject I otherwise wouldn’t have had the courage to take on. I would not have done that type of project that early on in my career without the UREAP.”
Since graduating in 2016, Fauteux has focused on developing her business, All by Design Custom Home Design & Drafting. In the fall, she was awarded the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.